Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death by Amita Murray
Published: November 9, 2021
This was a macabre mystery story with a lot of quirky characters, set in a small London suburb. Arya is neurodiverse with Tourette’s Syndrome and lots of anxiety and a spot of OCD, especially when it comes to her kitchen. She does take a bit of warming up to, as she can be quite abrasive, but you do eventually start to like her and her attitudes towards life. If nothing else you will appreciate her baking skills. I really enjoyed the descriptions of what she was working on.
The mystery was a little bit quirky too. It appeared to be random, but eventually as clues are gathered, you realize there is only one murderer. It was also a pretty easy guess as to who the culprit was. But it was fun watching Arya figure it out ahead of the police. The detectives investigating the murders have to be the quirkiest out of everyone, and they sort of annoyed me more than even Arya at her worst did.
My main issue with the book was the slow pacing and chapters where not much seemed to be going on. But that might have been a bit on me. I think I was expecting more witty banter and excitement than what was given. But overall if you like quirky mysteries you might want to give this one a try.
Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren
Published: February 1, 2022
This was such a fun little horror story, well maybe not exactly fun, but I did enjoy it. It is loosely based on the Cecil Hotel in LA and a death well documented in a Netflix show. If you have seen that, then I do recommend this short book. This one has a supernatural twist to it.
Unlike horror movies, which I can’t watch, I do enjoy reading horror every now and then. This one isn’t too scary, although I probably won’t be getting ice from hotel ice machines anymore. I loved the four friends, who even when they argued had each others backs. It was pretty easy to figure out what was really going on, although I was kind of hoping I was wrong, and it was a fun ride getting there.
The writing and the pacing were well done and it is short enough that you could read it in one day. I really liked the supernatural element, lots of ghosts in this one, and one of the characters can see them. I liked that they had a little machine that could talk, sort of, to the ghosts as well.
If you like horror, or even if you don’t, this is one to give a try. It isn’t too scary and it was a lot of fun to boot.
The Meal of Fortune by Philip Brady
Published: June 1, 2021 (2nd edition)
I have some mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand it has one of my favorite tropes, average man gets caught up in spy shenanigans, but there was something missing in the execution. I did for the most part enjoy the story and the characters.
I liked Dermot Jack, the hapless talent agent who gets involved with a Russian mobster. He was someone I could relate to. I liked that he always seemed to have music and dance numbers going on in his head when he was happy. Anna Preston was a little bit harder to like, but I did get there in the end. I’m not sure if I want to see them get together though, not sure the chemistry is there.
The story was pretty good and interesting with some nice twists thrown in, especially with Svetlana the would be popstar. The pacing was also good and it was easy to keep going, I never felt bored by the story, but it was still missing something. It just never felt tense and I never worried about what was going to happen.
Overall though, if you like fun little spy thrillers with some solid yet quirky characters, this is one you might want to give a try.